November 6, 2019
It was a huge opportunity for Tommy to compete in the US F4 Championship. It was a chance to put himself against some of the best up and coming drivers in the Americas and race on the World’s biggest stage in front of the biggest names in the sport. It also came at a good time with Tommy just completing the British F4 Championship.
As well as a whole new field of competitors, Tommy would also have to learn the Circuit of the Americas track. At over 5.5km it is the largest track Tommy has ever driven with the 20 corners providing a variation of different challenges. The circuit is very fast in places, particularly in the first sector and the run to the final corner. But there are also sequences of tight and twisty ones with major overtaking points at turns one, eleven and twelve.
There was no doubt the racing was going to be entertaining, but Tommy would have just one practice session to learn the track. Tommy appeared to have no problem doing that though, finishing 11th just one second off the top after 13 laps. It would then be straight into a very important qualifying session with 36 drivers on the grid!
Unfortunately, this was where Tommy would run into some problems, after a red flag the drivers were held for ten minutes (half the session) and were eventually released with just five to go. As Tommy made his way onto the circuit he quickly picked up a right rear puncture. With no time to come in and pit Tommy had no choice but to carry on and still managed 21st despite the damage.
The only positive for Tommy was he now had the chance to show off what he could do from the midfield. With just ten laps though, getting near the top ten was going to be a tough challenge but it was one Tommy accepted! Straight from the off Tommy began pulling off some fantastic moves and was soon flying through the field.
Despite overtaking every single lap Tommy was half a second quicker than those in the podium positions and it was that speed that took him all the way up to 8th place. Another few laps and Tommy could have easily finished 5th, but it also had everyone thinking where he could have finished if he didn’t have the problems in qualifying. However, post-race Tommy would be given a penalty for ‘gaining an advantage outside of track limits’ and was demoted to 18th post-race.
Race two was a similar story for Tommy as he was busy overtaking right from the off. He was putting in lap times quick enough to put him in the top five despite being in traffic! Running in the midfield also makes it hard to hang on to overtakes at COTA with the long straights often allowing drivers to re-pass immediately.
However, Tommy found a way and finished an impressive 12th place, which put him towards the back of a long queue disputing 5th place. Although slightly disappointed he wasn’t able to get the results he could have, Tommy was very happy with his performances and it’s fair to say he made the most of the opportunity putting in two fantastic drives.
Tommy put himself on the map in another continent in just one race weekend and did it all in front of the F1 paddock and the thousands of fans gathered to see Lewis Hamilton become World Champion for the sixth time.
Tommy also got to enjoy a brilliant experience in a very atmospheric F1 weekend and he was given the chance to watch the race from the SportPesa Racing Point Team garage.
Plans for 2020 have not been revealed yet, but keep an eye on our website and social media channels for the official announcement.